Ex-Ukraine president tears into Boris Johnson for Ukraine Brexit comparison in extraordinary response

‘How many Britons died?’ Ex-Ukraine President asks PM not to compare war ...

The former president of Ukraine has perfectly summed up why Boris Johnson's Brexit and Ukraine comparison is so offensive.

Speaking to ITV News, Petro Poroshenko responded to comments made by Johnson at the Conservative Spring Conference over the weekend. The prime minister had said it was the “instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom”, and cited the Brexit vote as a “famous recent example”, sparking a fierce backlash that even angered Brexiteers.

Poroshenko told reporters that there was "no comparison" between the two, especially in terms of the number of people who have died in Ukraine. He said:

"How many citizens of the United Kingdom died because of Brexit? Zero. Can you imagine how many Ukrainians died before they met Putin and Russia? Thousands.

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"Only today we have more than 150 children [who] were killed by Russian soldiers and Russian artillery. Only during the last week 2,000 children from Mariupol was captured and delivered back to Russia.

"Can I ask you how many houses were destroyed because of Brexit? We have whole cities which were completely erased starting from Mariupol which is much worse than Aleppo.

"This situation, definitely, please. No comparison."

Many felt that Poroshenko's comments were apt.

No.10 has told outlets the PM was not making a “direct comparison” between Ukraine’s resistance to Russian invasion and the Brexit vote but will not withdraw the comment.

Meanwhile, The Times reports that Johnson regretted the remark. “It sounded better written down than it did when spoken,” the source reportedly said.

Nevertheless, the remark clearly hasn't had a great diplomatic impact.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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